Tuesday, October 21, 2014

It's Always Best to Laugh

Lorna Landvik never disappoints me.  Her deceptively humorous titles draw you into stories that ride the wildest of roller coasters.  You chug along to the top, enjoying the characters and the ride, and then in split second, everything changes and you are reminded of the yin and yang that comprises a full life.

Perhaps I was drawn to this book because of its show biz theme; but besides that, how can you resist an opening like this:

     Of the untold mysteries in this great wide world, the one confounding me at the moment was shy none of my neighbors stocked what I considered a kitchen staple.  In face, from Maeve Mullman's reaction, you'd have though I was asking to borrow a kilo of heroin.
     "Are you award that sugar is poison?" she said, hogging the doorway, as a six-foot body builder is wont to do.  "Are you aware that sugar is responsible for everything from cancer to sexual dysfunction?  Never forget, your body is your temple."
     As she slammed the door in my face I murmured my thanks and apologized, all the while doubting the purity of worship going on in her temple.  I mean, it was fairly obvious from her East-German-World-champion-swim-team-physique that steroids were part of the daily bread.

Maeve is just the first of the non-traditional apartment complex tenants that Candy meets upon leaving her drab existence with grandma in Minnesota and moving into her cousin's sublet in California.  There's the ruined nightclub impresario, a well connected Romanian fortune teller and a whole roomful of hecklers who boo, hiss and cackle when Candy tries her hand at stand-upcomedy.

Personally, I think that Landvik is at her best in this book - rubatoesque pacing, bits of stream of consciousness narrative, distinct character voices and a plot sprinkled with wit and wisdom.  If you haven't read anything by Lorna Landvik, give her a try.  Next time you're between books and the right title hasn't fallen onto you bedside table, pick up any one of her titles.  Within the pages, you will find yourself, your friends, and your town.  You won't be disappointed.

Other stuff....

Local lady, Sally (Pitz) Goldenbaum spoke at the Manitowoc Public Library last night.  Sally has written a series of cozy mysteries set in a small town peopled with characters that could be our friends and neighbors. I was happy to see so many familiar faces there last night.  Sally did a great job - funny, charming and with a bit of sass.  Keep your eyes open for these author visits.  They are always free and always worthwhile.  tom Maltman (The Night Birds and Little Wolves) will be speaking in spring.

If you're looking for a fun place to visit, take a drive to LaClare Farms just outside of Chilton.  Goat farm and cafe.  The LaClare's have 700 goats with more being born every day.  On Sunday, a set of white twins were born, along with a little black goat.  The farm dog has the loft responsibility of cleaning the newborns while trying to escape the ire of the new moms.  The farm foreman told me that new goats are born every day, with the highest birthrate being twenty-four in a single day.  The little ones live and rest in huge Tupperware type bins until they get up enough gumption to jump out on their own.  Great breakfast and relaxing time walking around watching the animals.  While you're in the area, you can wander through the corn maze at Polly's Pumpkin Patch,  and stop an artsy consignment shop called the Plaid Squirrel.

Thanks for stopping by.